Warnings of ice and fog for Norfolk overnight and tomorrow morning

The Met Office is warning that Norfolk will be subjected to another cold and murky night, with ice and fog forming and lingering into tomorrow morning.

Our gritters will be going out from 6pm tonight (7pm in Norwich) on all usual county gritting routes. We grit around a third of Norfolk’s roads, including all A and B-class roads, and Highways England grit the A11, A47 and A12. However, this means that many more minor routes are not gritted and even gritted routes may not have the same grip as a normal, non-icy road, so allow more time if you’re making any journeys overnight or tomorrow morning and take extra care.

We’ve had subzero temperatures for a number of nights on the trot now, and the days haven’t been exactly balmy, so please remember to check on any older or vulnerable people in your life who may struggle during colder weather. This one-minute video suggests some simple things you can do to help keep someone who is vulnerable safe and well this winter.

Get prepared ahead of predicted wintry and stormy weather in Norfolk

We’re advising everyone to keep a close eye on the weather forecast over the next few days and be ready to react, as stormy and wintry weather is expected to arrive in the county from tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.

The Met Office is warning that the east of England including most parts of Norfolk could get some snow between tomorrow and Saturday, with a chance of it settling and causing disruption to travel.

In addition to the prospect of snow, strong winds and low temperatures are also forecast over the next few days, with wind chill making it feel even colder. Road surface temperatures are due to dip below freezing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and therefore any rain or wintry showers that fall are likely to freeze, which could lead to icy roads, pavements and cycle paths and make journeys treacherous.norfolk-winter-launch-060

Norfolk County Council’s gritting teams are going out at 7pm tonight (Wednesday) on all
usual county gritting routes and are standing by to go out again at 3am if necessary as road surface temperatures are due to fall to around freezing across Norfolk overnight, with rain and sleet likely tomorrow. The gritters are ready to go out as often as required over the next few days.

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Do you have the medical supplies to see you through Christmas?

Stay Well logoHelp yourself and your loved ones stay well – and help the NHS at what is a very busy for them – by making sure you have the right medicines and other supplies to see you through the Christmas and New Year period.

Those who take regular medication should make sure they have ordered enough to last through the holiday period or ask their GP practice for a new prescription.

Most pharmacies will be open between Christmas and New Year and some will be open on the bank holidays, including Christmas Day. Pharmacists can provide advice, over-the-counter medicines and fulfil repeat prescriptions. Find out which Norfolk pharmacies are open on bank holidays here.

It’s also important to make sure your medicine cabinet or kit contains all the essential items, such as:

  • painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, including versions for children (if there are any children in the house)
  • over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies
  • plasters
  • bandages
  • antiseptic cream
  • thermometer

For health information over the festive period please go to http://www.nhs.uk/staywell.

This information has been kindly provided by the five NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Norfolk.

Don’t forget to get your prescriptions ahead of Christmas

People with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung and heart disease are being reminded by the local NHS not to leave it too late to get their repeat prescriptions. 

It can be hard in the busy run-up to Christmas to find time to look after yourself.  But a simple call to your GP surgery, or a visit to your highstreet pharmacy could make all the difference.  Your pharmacy can also give you useful advice on how to deal with winter bugs, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and the flu.

Many GP practices will have limited opening hours between Christmas and New Year, which means some people may struggle if they run out of their medication.

The NHS wants to make sure that people with these illnesses have a good Christmas and New Year.  The last thing anyone wants is for people to run out of their medication, become poorly and have to spend part of their holiday in hospital.

Your local community pharmacy can help you deal with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains.

Even over the Christmas holidays there will be pharmacies open. Find locations and opening hours of pharmacies on bank holidays below (pdf).

Christmas and New Year pharmacy opening tmes

The free jab that keeps you safe from flu

Those most at risk of flu are being urged to book an appointment for a vaccination with their local GP

Having the flu is a horrible experience for anyone unfortunate enough to catch it, but for some people it can be life-threatening.

In the run up to each winter people who are considered to be at risk from becoming seriously ill if they get the flu are encouraged to protect themselves by getting a free flu jab at their GP surgery. However earlier this month it was reported that many of those people in ‘at risk’ groups haven’t had the jab yet.

Because it’s a virus it can’t be treated with antibiotics and like most contagious illnesses the chances of contracting it are much greater in the winter. So it really is a matter of prevention being better than cure.

We asked NHS Norfolk to give us the lowdown on the flu jab and why it’s so important for some people to have it.

People don’t realise quite how serious flu can be – it’s not like a cold, it’s highly contagious and anyone can catch it. It can knock you off your feet and can increase the risk of developing dangerous illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

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Feeling unwell? Your friendly local pharmacist could help

People coughing and spluttering on the bus? Sneezing down the phone? Sharing tales of their ailments in the queue at the shop? Ah, was there ever a truer sign that winter‘s approaching.

Pharmacists are able to offer free professional advice. Credit iPocrates.

If you or someone you know is feeling unwell, you want to do whatever you can to get better as quickly as possible.

Very often the quickest and easiest way to get advice and appropriate treatment is to contact your local high street pharmacy, as NHS Norfolk explains…

This week is Ask Your Pharmacist Week, a national drive by the National Pharmacy Association to raise awareness of what pharmacies have to offer. Many people turn to their GP out of habit when they’re feeling ill, but often a trip to the pharmacy would be every bit as helpful and get you on the road to recovery.

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